Superhero fans worldwide reacted in surprise when Marvel announced the Inhumans — a TV series that, uniquely, would initially launch in IMAX theaters worldwide on September 1st! Now, Marvel's kicking up the marketing a notch, and as they do we're beginning to realise this is going to be one comic-book-accurate TV show!
The Inhuman Royal Family
While fans of #AgentsOfSHIELD will be very familiar with the Inhumans — Chloe Bennet's wonderful Daisy Johnson being the most prominent of them — the Inhumans show is going with the "classic" characters. Stan Lee's original concept was of a society of superpowered beings who largely keep themselves to themselves, isolated from the rest of the world. They're ruled by a royal family, and - as that first promotional image reveals - #Marvel's chosen to be remarkably faithful to the original comics.
Showrunner Scott Buck told Entertainment Weekly that he's been ploughing through the comics in order to put this series together:
"I was so curious to see what their origins were, so I started at the very beginning. Obviously if you look at those comics from the early ’60s, they’re a very different tone than what we’re doing. It was fun to see how it all began, but I just continued to leap forward. I have not read all of them, but I continue to look through some of them. There were so many different incarnations of the Inhumans, though, so it was more a matter of figuring out, what’s the story we want to tell? Going back and then reading the whole backstory of them all was very helpful, but from that, we just pretty much moved forward."
It's worth remembering, though, that Inhumans is set in the #MCU - meaning Terrigen has been spread across the world, and new Inhumans are now being activated across the globe. In January, comic book writer Charles Soule revealed that some of his so-called 'NuHumans' will appear in the series. It sounds as though the plot is going to tread a careful balance between comic-book-inspired, original concepts, and MCU-inclusive.
The City of Attilan
In the comics, the Inhuman society is based in the city of Attilan: a beautiful, futuristic realm that's deliberately kept off the maps. Attilan was originally based in the Atlantic, before moving to the Himalayas, and ultimately heading to the Moon. It stayed on the Moon for decades, although in the comics it's currently gone into space!
Nowadays, it's pretty hard to imagine a city like Attilan being successfully hidden. To give you an idea, by 2009 NASA was able to combine 1.3 million images to create a single image showing 99% of the Earth's land surface. Sure, Attilan has advanced technology, but the Inhumans would need to know exactly how human technology worked in order to keep blocking it!
So it's no surprise that showrunner Scott Buck has confirmed that, in the MCU, Attilan is currently not on Earth. It seems that Marvel has jumped straight to the Moon! The first two episodes of Inhumans will be shot solely with IMAX cameras, and it's been confirmed that subsequent action scenes — some set on the surface of the Moon — will also be filmed using those cameras. That explains why Marvel's filming the series on the Hawaiian island of Oahu; Diamond Head Crater could easily be used as a setting for a partly-terraformed lunar surface, and we know the show filmed in this crater.
Notice, incidentally, that Scott Buck only indicated Attilan is currently set on the Moon. That also suggests that, as in the comics, the Inhuman nation used to be on Earth.
What Does This Mean?
So far, Inhumans looks set to be incredibly comic-book-accurate. You're talking a remote, superhuman society who live in a hidden city on the Dark Side of the Moon. I can understand why Marvel is interested in giving the idea a shot; royal power struggles are all the rage right now (Game of Thrones, here's looking at you). Setting this adventure on the Dark Side of the Moon adds a whole new dimension to the plot, and may help make Inhumans feel fresh within the wider superhero landscape.
Classically, the Inhumans have kept themselves distanced from events on Earth, so it's no surprise we're not expecting any overt Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tie-ins anytime soon. At the same time, though, a plot synopsis has already revealed that the Inhumans are coming to Earth. As one plot synopsis put it:
"After the Royal Family of Inhumans is splintered by a military coup, they barely escape to Hawaii where their surprising interactions with the lush world and humanity around them may prove to not only save them, but Earth itself."
So we can definitely expect to see the Inhuman Royal Family come face-to-face with twenty-first century humanity!
Marvel is pushing all their marketing might behind Inhumans, and is clearly very confident in the franchise's potential. The last decade has seen the Inhumans become ever more relevant to the wider Marvel Comics Universe, and it seems they could well add a whole new dimension to the MCU as well!
Are you excited about Marvel's Inhumans?
(Source: Entertainment Weekly; Poll Image Credit: Marvel Comics)